Once Upon a Time, a Guard Nearly Shot Queen Elizabeth by Mistake

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It was a close call for the queen.

A walk around the grounds of Buckingham Palace in the very early morning hours nearly got Queen Elizabeth II shot by one of her guards, The Times of London reported on Wednesday.

When she has a difficult time sleeping, the queen will put on a raincoat and walk around the palace grounds, The Times reported, quoting a former guardsman.

He was on patrol inside the palace walls at 3 a.m. on an unspecified day several years ago when he saw a figure in the darkness, according to reports.

Thinking he had spotted an intruder, The Times said, he called out, “Who’s that?”

“To his surprise, it was the queen,” according to the account. “‘Bloody hell, Your Majesty, I nearly shot you,’ he blurted out.”

Realizing his remarks were inappropriate, the guard expected to be rebuked.

Instead, The Times reported, Her Majesty replied: “That’s quite all right. Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.”

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